My media product is split up into three different parts, the main music video and two ancillary products, which is a Digipak album and a magazine advert for the band. In addition to this we also created two more ancillary pieces to complete a even bigger package, these were a vinyl edition of the album and a company website. Each of these 3 different products contain forms and conventions which you expect to see when you see a real example of one of the products. An example being that you expect to see text on a advert for a band. Though being said often forms and conventions are challenged and you may find a advert which doesn't have text on it for example popular music band The XX advert which is a simple white X on a black background, this advert doesn't really explain anything but it does advertise the band and create hype.
Music video is the primary product in the promotional package. Firstly music videos have their own set of codes and conventions, from the start of the project we have become aware of these codes and conventions. Music is no longer as easy to categorise with so many new and old bands falling into rapidly evolving and new genres and sub genres so it is being increasingly harder to work out the codes and conventions of these genres. Firstly though something that we can easily work out is that they are three types of videos;
- Concept: These videos contain primarily a concept idea which really can be anything from a reoccurring clip to a animation or a simple idea. Examples being OK Go - This Too Shall Pass (YTB) and The Island part 1 (YTb) by Pendulum.
- Performance: These videos will fully contain or contain aspects of performance from the music artists or others performing the song. E.g Biffy Clyro's 57 (YTB) and Metallica's Sad but true (YTB).
- Narrative: These videos consist of imagery usually relating to the narrative of the video. Some examples could be Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag (YTB) and Fountains of Wayne - Stacy's Mom (YTB)
Our music video falls between two of these video types. It is a narrative video to a extent because we decided to focus heavily on the theme of addiction though they is aspects of concept because they is no clear storyline in the video just slight signifiers to force the audience into interpreting the video in there own way. We believed that narrative enigma which is very often seen in music video will come into place with the audience repeating viewing to fully understand the concept.
They are also conventions of music videos which you will expect to see on the majority of music videos,
- Editing - Cut to beat.
- Continuity editing - not always needed.
- Shot types and variation - Close ups, establishing shots, focus on lead singer
- Mise en scene - link to style and genre of the band
- Diegetic intros
Editing in film and television is much different to that found in music videos, in Tv and film eliptical editing is common, on the other hand music videos tend to be non - linear narratives so jump cuts become a essential piece of editing. Pacing is a huge page of music videos as well with the editing often reflecting on the pace of the track.
Our music video contains many different types of editing, due to the nature of the video and the huge amount of locations, we experimented with different ways of putting the video together from scene to scene with transitions such as fade ins and fade outs. We selected shots that kept the pace of the video moving along with the track. We also experimented with cutting to the beat with one part mainly in the video which was the underpass scene. We also used few filters to change the colouring, we used a chroma key for one of the opening shots and grey scale, these really helped to convey Joy Divisions style in our own video.
Continuity editing is another common form within music videos, though once again this is really down to the nature of the video. "The purpose of continuity editing is to smooth over the inherent discontinuity of the editing process and to establish a logical coherence between shots." taken from wikipedia.
Our music video challenges this code and convention, in parts the video can seem linear but in other parts it doesn't.
Shot types and Variation
In music videos you will see different shot types and shot variation, this is because they are key to creating a flowing interesting video. If you watch a video with one stationary shot then you will expect to be bored, but with many different shots it makes the video more interesting. Again this has been challenged by certain artists for instance by the band (The Drums) who's video (Let's go Surfing) is simply a man running along a beach with a constant shot.
Our video contains nearly every kind of shot type and throughout the video they is plenty of shot variation. We used close ups to express emotions and used high angles and long shots to signify isolation and insignificance. We aimed to create a huge contrast between the close ups in the cold turkey scenes in the video and the extreme long shots in the outdoor locations at Malham and Leeds.
Mise en Scene
Correct mise en scene is very common in music videos, MES is a expression used to describe the design aspect in a film production. For instance in a music video about a teenage boy who plays in a football team you'd expect the MES in the boys room to relate to teenagers and a footballer, and this is show through objects, props and scenery. In music videos MES can really depend on the genre and the video type because someone may make a concept video where MES don't come into play.
In our music video MES is a large aspect. We want the video to not look out of place within a 1980's setting and while we couldn't set dress outdoors where we filmed the majority of our video we did get to set dress one indoor location where we set it up appropriately. Instead we did cast and dress our protagonist very well and with great detail. We wanted to signify the protag as being similar to Ian Curtis so we used certain connotations that he was known for such as a large grey overcoat he often wore and cigarettes which he often smoked.
This form and convention is probably the least common of the 5, Diegetic intros are when a music video will start with noise from the within the video. They are often very common within concept and narrative videos, an example of one is Mumford & Sons - The Cave.
In our video we have used a diegetic opening where our character walks into view on a bridge over a highway, you can hear the cars driving past and the wind and then it goes into the song. It provides a interesting opening in a video instead of just jumping into the song.
The same can be said for the end where we have brought diegetic sound back into the video to create a link between the visual and the shot as well as add some extra exposition to the video.
Music Track & Genre
The music track featured in my video falls under the genre post punk. Post punk is a genre which is a rock music movement with its roots in the late 1970s, The genre retains its roots in the punk movement but is more introverted, complex and experimental.
To keep the video visually interesting, camera movement is often used for instance panning or zooming. We used a variation of camera movement featuring still shots, shots on the snorri cam and fast moving shots. It all conveys a socio - realist element to the music video.
Using correct lighting could potentially make or break a music video. Some genres use it extensively such as Dance and use strobes and flashing lights. Often keepping natural lighting throughout a video can have a good effect.
We have used a mixture of both, in our outdoor locations we opted for the natural light simply because its too hard to change it, and we have worked with the position of our camera to utilise light to its full extent. Within the indoor locations we started off using a strobe light to create a flashing effect but it didn't turn out as well as we hoped and instead we used a manual light with a crew member had to turn off and on while filming.
We had a problem when it came ot researching the codes and conventions of post punk videos and Joy Divisons videos, this was that JD had only released 2 music videos, one of which was while the band was still together and the second was after they split up. Instead we had to mainly look at the genre as a while to establish a clear set of codes and conventions. We looked at examples of post punk bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, Depeche Mode.
From this research we concluded that within Post Punk videos, it is normal to see the follow codes and conventions.
- There is a lot of use of flashing imagery.
- Multi-layering is also used very often as is cross-fade transitions.
- Whilst the videos often use slow paced imagery, quick cutaways to close ups are used to keep the video flowing.
- Locations used are generally run-down or urban.
- Use of colour filters, especially black and white.
- Lots of camera movement to help keep the visuals interesting.
- Some sort of motif or theme is repeated through the video. This can sometimes link to the lyrics.
- An emphasise on the cold and dark to signify the mood of the band. Characters often seem very deadpan.
We have strongly used all these conventions in our video very well, apart from one.
We discovered that most of the post-punk videos are performance or concept or both. We did neither and stuck to a strong Narrative / Concept idea. We believed that a lot of the old post punk bands who we looked at stuck with their performance but because we were creating the video mainly for a modern audience we decided to challenge this form because we believe that a narrative /concept idea will strongly appeal to modern audience. Also we believe that our idea for the video is very much a mini insight into Joy Division's style and brand which is another reason behind us creating a narrative.
There is a lot of use of flashing imagery
We used flashing imagery in the cold turkey scenes as we felt it would help in creating disorientation which half signified Ian's epilepsy and the other half that the viewer could understand the confusion in the scenes.
Multi-layering is also used very often as is cross-fade transitions
Multi layering was a clever way of switching between locations in our video as well as showing the strange feelings that are going through the protagonist.
Whilst the videos often use slow paced imagery, quick cutaways to close ups are used to keep the video flowing
After noticing this extensively within the genre we used this to mould our work. We used it to create contrasting emotions and scenes and to give the video a flowing pace that would interest a viewer.
Locations used are generally run-down or urban
As well as following the code and using run down urban locations we challenged the code and went for some more rural locations such as Malham Cove. These helped to provide a extreme sense of isolation and linked to some Depeche Mode work. It also helped create a large range of emotions which is something that become a reoccurring pattern across all our work.
Use of colour filters, especially black and white
This is something that is used across a lot of Joy Divisions work, Anton Corbijns work for JD and other Post Punk videos, so it seems fit that we used it for our video. We also used a Chroma Key effect on the embers of a cigarette to signify its importance within the video.
Some sort of motif or theme is repeated through the video. This can sometimes link to the lyric
Before we selected the song we had the idea of addiction, so we used it as a reoccurring motif and theme in the video. The cigarette is a large part of showing this though it doesn't necessary say that the protag is addicted to cigarettes.
An emphasise on the cold and dark to signify the mood of the band. Characters often seem very deadpan
Once again this is heavily seen within the genre so we deemed it necessary that we worked with this in our video as its is very important for the genre and the style that we are conveying.
Digipaks also have their own set of codes and conventions, Having researched them we settled on a series of Codes and Conventions which the majority of digipaks followed.
- Band name: On the front of the digipak in a prominent place, sometimes it can be inside the digipak though it is rare, if a band has one they may place the band logo on the front instead of a font name.
- Album Name: Second in importance after the band name, often smaller in text size then the band name.
- Track Listing: Often on the back of the album though some bands have done it differently such as Linkin Parks - Meteora.
- Bar Code: Often in a out of the way location on the digipak but somewhere accessible, it is not common for it to be on a sticker on the front or back which can be removed.
- Record Label info and Copyright Info: Important information which is always on the albums for legal reasons, the record label info isn't as important but always on the digipak.
- A CD: can be in a digipak in many different locations
We have used all of these codes and conventions by simply copying them and incorporating them into our design idea as really they are all essential for creating a digipak. The only way we have challenged a form is by adding the bar code as a sticker instead of being imposed onto the digi-paks. This way it still fulfills its purpose while keeping the digi-paks as minimal as possible which is what we wanted.
We created the vinyl because we felt it was a great way of creating a product similar to the digipak but still got to challange the majority of the codes and conventions on the digipak.
We also produced a double sided posters because we felt it was a nice collectors alternative to the standard booklet with lyrics and pictures. They is also a bonus disk loaded with videos and pictures.
Like the digipaks, adverts have their own set of codes and conventions, these usually are very relaxed though, we believe that they are as follow,
- Band Name - Largest font, often central on the image.
- Name of topic (Single, Album, Tour) - Usually second largest on the page.
- Date (tour dates, release date) - Usually smaller writing somewhere on advert but often bold to still stand out.
- Images (relevant to band) - of band, artwork, always relevant to the release in someway.
- Record label
- Purchase information (stores/ websites/ box offices)
We kept the adverts simple as overall as a package the three adverts create a campain style appeal. This is often seen by bands who are reforming or creating hype as it gives the readers little information and eggs them onto searching for more information themselves.
Smoking in the products
They is a issue around having smoking present in music videos and on images so Jonny made a short video talking about it.
Because our audience are both old and new, we had to be extra careful when working with codes and conventions because we wanted to maintain the old appeal for the older audience while appeal to a new younger audiences. We managed to do this very well though we believe as feedback suggests.